Police Scotland is backing a UK-wide campaign to encourage the public to report suspicious behaviour and activity in a bid to prevent terrorism and save lives.
The call to action is part of the second phase of the ACT – Action Counters Terrorism – initiative, led by Counter Terrorism Policing, a collaboration of UK police forces working alongside intelligence agencies.
Research carried out by CT Policing suggests that three-quarters (75 per cent) of people who live in Scotland are concerned about terrorism. Two thirds (66 per cent) of people in the UK say they have become more concerned over the past year.
But while 82 per cent said they would report suspicious behaviours to police, many are unclear exactly what they should be looking for.
The campaign features a 60-second film based on real-life foiled plots. It shows examples of terrorist-related suspicious activity and behaviour, as well as attack planning methodology.
Some examples of suspicious activity or behaviour could potentially include:
- Hiring large vehicles for no obvious reason
- Buying or storing a large amount of chemicals, fertilisers or gas cylinders for no obvious reasons
- Taking notes or photos of security arrangements or inspecting CCTV cameras in an unusual way
- Looking at extremist material, or sharing and creating content that promotes or glorifies terrorism.
- Anyone who goes away travelling for long periods of time but is vague about whereSomeone carrying out suspicious or unusual bank transactions
Assistant Chief Constable Steve Johnson said: “We work tirelessly with security partners to identify and thwart the terrorist threat.
“But the public can also play a crucial role in helping to keep communities safe and we would encourage anyone with suspicions to report their concerns.
“We want to provide people with all the necessary information they need to help them identify suspicious activity and, more importantly, keep themselves safe and secure.
“Any piece of information could be vital in helping the police prevent terrorism and save lives. That cooperation between police and the public is Scotland’s greatest defence against the terrorist threat.”
Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said: “Public vigilance is key to help Police Scotland keep our communities safe from terror threats. I very much welcome this campaign which highlights a number of ways in which members of the public can spot suspicious activity and how to make the authorities aware.
“I would urge the public to note the kinds of activity to be on the lookout for. Anyone who feels they may have witnessed and anyone who feels they have witnessed suspicious behaviour should report it immediately.”
Anyone who wishes to report suspicious behaviour or activity can do so by calling Police Scotland on 101 or 999 in an emergency, or via the online tool at gov.uk/ACT.